Despite the lingering snow, sub-zero temperatures and freezing rain we’ve been subjected to over the last few months, it’s true – spring is finally in the air. Spring is the season of new life and new beginnings and, of course, an excellent time for a good clear out.
Most of us tackle an attempt at a good spring clean around the house at least once a year, but when was the last time you gave your wardrobe a spring clean? It’s easy to shut the doors and forget what may be lurking at the back of your wardrobe, but taking some time to ditch the junk can work wonders for your sanity and style.
Feeling overwhelmed? Sorting out your wardrobe doesn’t have to be an arduous task.
1. Enlist the help of a friend
Just as when you’re out shopping for new clothes, another pair of eyes is essential when you’re de-cluttering your wardrobe. Ideally you want a friend who’s brutally honest enough to tell you what really doesn’t suit you but also offer a different perspective and suggest some outfit combinations you may not have considered.
2. Sort into piles
The easiest way to get started on your wardrobe clear out is by pulling everything out and sorting it into piles. Clothing you love and wear regularly goes on the ‘keep’ pile; Clothes you’ve never worn and you’re not sure what you were thinking when you bought them go on the ‘out’ pile; Everything else goes on the ‘maybe’ pile to be sorted through with a more critical eye.
3. Check the fit
No matter how much you might love that cocktail dress or pair of designer jeans, if it doesn’t fit you then there is absolutely no point in keeping it in your wardrobe. Clothes that are too big or too small should go straight in the ‘out’ pile. If you’ve recently had a baby or you’re in the middle of a weight-loss programme then it makes sense to keep some items but be realistic with yourself.
4. Establish your basics
There are probably a few items that you find yourself wearing over and over again to create different outfits. These might include a favourite pair of jeans, some flattering simple t-shirts and basic knitwear. These items will form the basis of your new wardrobe so put them to one side and mix and match new outfit ideas with them.
5. Stick to a colour palette
One of the easiest ways to create your very own capsule wardrobe is to shop for items in a limited range of colours. We’ve all bought an item of clothing that we loved in the shop but when we get home, realise we don’t have anything to go with it. By looking at your clothes all together you should have an idea of the colours you favour and be able to eliminate anything that doesn’t fit in.
6. Organise into outfits
Put tops and bottoms together, add accessories and try everything on. By keeping your wardrobe organised by outfits instead of as separates, you’ll know instantly what to wear on any given day and won’t get stuck trying to put an outfit together in the morning. Experiment with different combinations of clothing and you may find you invent some new outfits that you love.
7. Sort by season
If you’re short on space it can be very helpful to have winter and summer wardrobes and put the clothes you won’t be wearing that season into storage. Heavy coats and chunky jumpers take up space when you don’t need them during the summer months so pack them away into suitcases or vacuum-pack storage bags and keep them out of sight.
8. Take photos
If you don’t have the help of a friend to aid you in sorting your clothes, take photos of yourself wearing the outfits from different angles. A photo is a much clearer representation of how an outfit looks than looking in the mirror and you’ll soon get the picture of what suits you and what doesn’t.
9. Be ruthless
It can be difficult to discard clothing that you thought you loved or spent a lot of money on. One of the best ways to deal with this is by profiting from your wardrobe clear out and promising yourself some new items once you’ve sold the old ones. If you have some good quality designer pieces, you can make back much of your original investment by selling them on sites like Vestiaire Collective. You can also browse for some new items to take their place while you’re there.
10. Make it fun
De-cluttering your wardrobe doesn’t have to be a chore. If you’ve invited a friend over, make a night of it with a bottle of wine and some giggles over your uglier outfits. You could even host a clothing swap with a group of friends to get rid of your unwanted clothes and find some new ones.